Clinic debate

Renate Henshilwood, Hout Bay

I was thick-skinned enough to attend the open meeting held for our dream of a polyclinic beyond its end last Tuesday night. Finally I had confirmation of what I most feared. In my hearing a City official congratulated our councillor with the words “Now we have the clinic in the front and they can have their garden at the back”. This issue is, once
again, fait accompli as far as the City is concerned.

As the Kronendal School Hall was packed with people, I estimate that more than 500 members of our community had taken the time and trouble to attend this meeting all wanting a new clinic and there to advise with the final decision on a site.

Not only am I deeply saddened by the, once again, arrogant manner displayed by the City in handling this issue but, equally, by the fact that in this day and age members of our community still take the liberty of insulting and threatening others.

I sincerely hope that those guilty of it show their strength in publicly apologising for their doing via this media (the Sentinel is free and accessible to all.) A demonstration was given of how to go about it at the end of the meeting.

Being in the majority of our community does not give anyone the right to say “now we do as we want”, as it is the minority in our community who pay ever inflating rates and taxes. It is the minority who will ultimately and indirectly pay the bill for the new clinic.

To have the clinic sited on our common will take years of environmental studies, rezoning and so on. Therefore the money I pay for rates will be spent for years to come on officialdom by the City. I object to have my hard-earned money wasted.

Putting forward a united front for one of the alternate sites suggested in the meeting will cut down this lengthy process, eg no rezoning will be required. Once the new clinic is built by the province, the City is welcome to beautify the area around it with my hard-earned money. Then I can see and be proud of what my cash has bought.

Once the hurdle of the City is jumped, I have every confidence in the province to use the money I paid for taxes for more than 40 years, to make our common dream of a first class clinic come true.

I, too, am now 65 years old and am hoping to be around long enough to see this dream come true and be proud of our achievement.

I chose not to speak during the meeting but rather listened and observed. I have now put into ink my thoughts for our community and our elected councillor to peruse and ponder over.